This post is coming to you a bit late, but you know what they say…
So this is the second installment of the ZELDA compilation, a.k.a. Best and Worst movies of 2009. In my mind, 2009 will always be the year of Avatar, and if you’re not a fan, then I’m… not so sorry because I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. It’s also the year of The Blind Side, a.k.a. Sandra Bullock’s first Oscar, which she totally deserved, and I was happy that she finally chose a good role to show off her talent.
And hey, she played in the Proposal too! She was on fire in 2009.
But now it is time to present … the three Zeldas of the West.
Zelda, the Excellent
1. The Invention of Lying: This film definitely carved its initials into my brain… somewhere between my favorite quotes from Friends and my old phone number. So if you EVER sat down and wondered why people lie, and then started imagining a world where people only told the truth, BAM! You have reached the bizarre world of truth-telling and humor-breaking that used to exist before a man realized that he could tweak the truth in order to get what he wants. As tempting as sharing your likes and dislikes with no regard for other people’s feelings might sound, Mark chooses to create a new world: one in which he can land the pretty girl… even if he’s short, pudgy, and ugly himself. Huge bonus points for explaining how God and the Bible came to be (though if you’re sensitive about religion, steer clear).
2. The Blind Side: It deserved the Oscars it got. It was a heart-felt story about a big boy with a big dream, and a woman whose kindness recognized a lost boy in need of a home. You will cry and see the best in people in this modern day drama. There really should be more movies like this one.
3. The Lovely Bones: A great human drama with some fantastic elements. Based on the novel by Alice Sebold, this amazing story was translated very well on the screen, and if I have to pinpoint one element that had it stand out and shine was Stanley Tucci’s part. Being the rapist/murderer, George was perfectly creepy and greasy… if you know what I mean. The last person they’d suspect… that is, unless they got some help from the victim herself, the 14-year-old Susie Salmon, played by the one and only Saoirse Ronan, who is always enchanting on screen.
4. Avatar: You already know how I feel about this film. Being a fan of fantasy, I couldn’t resist being drawn and enchanted by this magical world where the spirit is a palpable being and where everybody’s connected in a stellar God-like being. Combined with the human drama and the action, this film is truly one of the good ones. You have to give me that at least.
5. The Time Traveler’s Wife: I have to include this film for selfish reasons. I have to say that I haven’t been so obsessed with a movie since… The Notebook. Surprise surprise, Rachel McAdams again. You know… that lovely girl with a brilliant smile and charm to boot. If anyone can shame the Sun, it’s her. And the plot is delightfully science-fictiony with a touch of greatest love story of all time. Needless to say, it’s a book adaptation (and the book is very naughty and confusing for those of you who like a challenge), so I’d recommend you see it… NOW. Because Henry not only travels in time but he also travels out of the screen and touches your heart with his (un)fortunate story.
More excellent choices: AGORA (please watch it), 500 Days of Summer, Coraline, Dorian Grey, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Nice (awesome musical), The Proposal (guilty pleasure), The Secret in Their Eyes, The Hangover, Up.
And the Zelda Award for Excellency goes to…
Zelda, the Good Witch
1. Adam: If you liked I Am Sam (2001) and Rain Man (1988), you’ll probably like this movie as well. It’s not about getting custody of your child when you have a mental illness or taking care of an estranged autistic brother, but it’s about love. The kind of love that is both surprising and heart-warming. Adam has Asperger’s syndrome, which means that he is rather awkward with intimate and social encounters, and yet he manages to find common language with Beth, his pretty neighbor. Everybody needs, and eventually finds, love.
2. Post Grad: If you’re a recent graduate, this movie will make your day. Ryden Malby is the perfect candidate for a publishing job. She’s played her life by the book (despite her quirky origins) and is now ready to conquer the world with a can-do spirit and complete lack of job-seeing experience. Oops. And don’t forget her hot hot friend Adam, who has blue eyes and is a musician (the two must-haves of my future husband). There’s romance, there’s family, and there’s life… as it usually happens. One of the best movies I have seen. Truly. (Why is this not in the excellent folder?! Bah!)
3. Knowing: This is what I like. Mystery wrapped in paranormal, and delivered on a suspenseful hot plate. SCORE! After all, whenever has Nicholas Cage disappointed anyone? Never, that’s when. And who predicts the future in this thrilling story? A kid, of course. One horrid event after the other, history unfolds to lead to the ultimate big event that we all like to call Armageddon. Will the movie end in ruins or will it be saved by man’s wits? Go find out.
4. Taken: FINALLY, an action movie I was on board with 100%. To me, it was exciting to see the lengths at which a father would go to save his kidnapped daughter. I guess those kidnappers never saw the ex-spy breathing down their necks. Way to choose a victim. Lucky for us, though. Enjoy!
5. The Ugly Truth: One of the sweetest rom-coms I have seen of late. It’s not earth-shattering, and it didn’t make me go into hyperventilating/laughing fit like The Proposal and The Back-Up Plan did (you know which scenes I am referring to, don’t you?), but the chemistry between the two stars was spotless: there was charge and wit by the buckets! This is the perfect movie to watch after a long hard day.
More good enough choices: 17 Again (Zach Efron is sexy), An Education, Angels and Demons, Brothers, Case 39, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Duplicity, Everybody’s Fine, Fighting, I Love You Man, It’s Complicated, Mary and Max, Love Happens, Me and Orson Welles, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sherlock Holmes, My Sister’s Keeper, The Good Guy, Shutter Island, The Rebound, Up in the Air.
Zelda, the Dung-Beetle
1. Push: The summary on IMDb says that the film is about two men with ‘special powers’ who race with the Government to find a woman in Hong Kong. All I remember is… being hungry for Nachos. Then there were some unconvincing superpowers, which were replaced by a sudden desire to knit. Finally, I think there were some people talking… was it Chinese… and my life flashing before my eyes, and pushing the stop button, after which my life was back to normal. I didn’t knit anything but I made nachos and forgot about the dreadful experience. I mean, if you’re gonna watch a lot of movies, you’ll have a dud for sure.
2. The Uninvited: All I have to say is: AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHH. Pardon my noise-maker. Why is Emily Browning always trying to kill my braincells? What did they ever do to her? She’s so pretty that I want to see her on a throne in an enchanted forest. I mean the movie was so much worse than Sucker Punch (2011)! I couldn’t finish watching it. And that’s only happened once before: with the Happening (2008), which lacked all kinds of characterization and dialogue… and had no sign of plot… or thought. Ahem. Do you smell a dung-beetle? Oh yeah, forgot to say it’s a horror movie. Enough said.
3. Two Lovers: I didn’t get it. All right, it seems to be the every-day story of a lonely and socially awkward man who comes to meet a beautiful and exciting woman, and of course it coincides with meeting another, less beautiful and exciting woman. Naturally, this moderately unattractive man immediately falls for the emotionally damaged beauty and hopes to be more than her friend. Yeah… watch it if there’s nothing else on TV. There’s some sex too. (And that’s the only selling point I could think of.)
4. Serious Moonlight: You know the movies that have you stay in one place the whole one and a half hours? Like Hard Candy (2005) and Phone Booth (2002). Well, that’s another one of those, but unfortunately, the plot isn’t nearly as exciting as Hard Candy’s and the place is not nearly as unique as a phone booth. It’s a regular room in a regular house. (Insert mental slap here.) The crazed wife is trying to reconnect with her husband by duct-taping and tying him to a toilet. I seriously miss Meg Ryan in her glory days…
5. All About Steve: Yes… YET ANOTHER Sandra Bullock movie. (Was she saving up for an island or something?) This time her partner is the sexy Bradley Cooper, who is horrified to discover that he is being hunted like a dog cross-country by a very quirky and crazy red-boots wearing crossword puzzle make-up’er. Confused? I was too. It was supposed to be inspirational. You know, like those Disney movies that warn against prejudice and brain freeze. In the end, the whole thing was awkward. Cute… but awkward.
More sucky (DO NOT WATCH IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE) choices: 2012, American Pie: Book of Love, Baby on Board, Butterfly Effect 3, The Vampire’s Apprentice, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Fired Up, The Fourth Kind, Ghosts of Girlfriends’ Past, Hanna Montana, Hotel for Dogs, I Love You Beth Cooper, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Inheart, New Moon (WAH!!!), Princess Protection Program (still better than New Moon), Road Trip: Beer Pong, The Killing Room, The Last Station, Veronica Decides to Die, X-Men Wolverine.
And the dung-beetle award goes to….
No, you do NOT make such movies. Bad Hollywood, bad! Poor Beyonce. I love her songs and I admired her performance on American Idol’s finale, but this role should send her back to singing and away from acting for a while. It’s not her fault, though. The plot was that bad.
Is there a movie you loved/hated that I missed?! Throw it in the bag!